Pentose Metabolism in Archaea
Harmen J.G. van de Werken, Stan J.J. Brouns and John van der Oost
from: Archaea: New Models for Prokaryotic Biology (Edited by: Paul Blum). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2008)
Archaeal physiology has been studied extensively ever since the discovery that they constitute a distinct domain of life. The diversity of the archaeal metabolism is very high: they are able to grow fermentatively, but are also able to respire aerobically or anaerobically, and obtain their energy from light or (an)organic molecules. Initially, hexose conversions received most attention. Recently, however, significant insight has been gained in the archaeal pentose metabolism. Importantly, novel genomic, genetic and bioinformatical tools are applicable now to study the archaeal biology in more detail. We here compare the archaeal pentose pathways, the enzymes and their regulation to the bacterial and eukaryal counterparts, and also describe distinct archaeal metabolic features and their implications. The pentose metabolism in Archaea shows a mosaic of both bacterial and eukaryal anabolic and catabolic pathways, but has also unique archaeal conversions and novel enzymes and regulations. This reflects the archaeal evolution of a variable metabolic shell that adjusts to the availability of the substrates and the extreme conditions under which many Archaea live read more ...